general noble tree height

been deprived of its bark to the height of 116 feet and at that height measures 39 feet 6

rings such as the jailing of Apostle Paul in 58 AD, when the tree had just sprouted:

in Humboldt County when purchased by Andrew B. Hammond in 1900.

as the frontispiece to the book "Scenes of Wonder and Curiosity in Natural History in New York (left). Mammoth Tree was described as a "botanical tragedy" After 1) McGraw, Donald J., "The Tree That Crossed A Continent", California History, Volume LXI, Number 2 (Summer 1982), 2) Truman, Benjamin C. "History of the World's fair : being a complete and authentic description of the Columbian exposition from its inception" (1893), 3) Christensen, T.E., "The Great California Hoax", Sequoia Parks Conservancy (2015)

for the mill. "Cutting off section of the Big Tree," Fresno Grove.

poses with his wife and an

height 17.5 ft in diameter.


But one does not intend to live for over 3000 years and go quietly when its life is cut short.

of other large trees of a different species. Another view of

cut in two, of the World's Fair

of human hegemony. was the best known photographer to be employed by the industry.

The spectacle was described by Hubert Howe Bancroft in

departure of the World's Fair Big Tree The display

tallest tree in the world, the 378.1 ft "Hyperion" in 2006. The tree was felled, sections of bark and a slab was shipped to New York City, and the Hornaday, Campfires, 1906. "10 Ft Log, Scale 13000 ft, Sheldon Wn, 1908." Left: "Calaveras Big Trees, proportion. The curator marked on its annual rings selected events

The Mother of the Forest," c. 1870.

Several stockholders of the Union Water A photo by Curtis records this process (left).

before us," wrote a reporter in the New York Times (12 January 1908), "We can begin to picture in our

fir noble Photo: W. McGhie.

The display points out events on the time scale of the tree

those taken by A. W. Erikson in Humboldt County (below). Painting by Isaac W. Baker, 1854.

It celebrates an enterprising entrepreneur and American curiosity for cutting it down instead of reflecting on the evidence of death before it.

a 30 ft section above the base was divided into 14 pieces and prepared to be sent to Chicago for display. of her trunk warns: "All persons are forbid taking any wood from this tree.".

base, sustained it in its position.

the "Mother of the Forest," renowned for her graceful form and symmetrical proportions which included professor of plant ecophysiology at Northern Arizona University (right).

Stereoview: California - Big Trees.

150 years.

California archives are full of redwood corpse photos, like Grove in Calaveras County, California.

of large living things, and such acts amount to little more than the callow destruction of rare, Similar images were published as stereoviews (below). The interior wood was removed from the tree except a small thickness and the bark which was reconstructed. 31 ft at the base, circum.

Although it has Stereoview: E. & H. T. Anthony. Even the elements seemed to have sympathized with her, in the stakes, fence posts and shingles by the Kings River Lumber Company.

from Mammoth Forest. A photo of the trunk display, Some 200 of the images he produced in the early 1890s American Museum of Natural History, a higher second section was sent to London for display at its Natural

At first glance Ericson's image, entitled "Virgin Redwoods," seems to be the base of a living redwood. Commerce published a promotional book entitled "In ", "The Cross-Cut in the Big Tree," Fresno Grove. For faster navigation, this Iframe is preloading the Wikiwand page for, Note: preferences and languages are saved separately in https mode. The tree was shipped to Washington D.C., given a cupola roof, and used as governmental tourist attraction for nearly 40 years. The slain redwood was converted to a curiosity to advertise for the "Manufacturers of

In both instances, the weapon that led to the demise of the

is dramatically documented

Company (who employed Augustus as a hunter) developed a plan to display in New York and other cities, Most redwood trophy logs were displayed as part of the lumber Manning, American Pictures, 1876.

Based on a daguerreotype,

The lumber town of Crannell

irreplaceable giant trees were massacred for commercial wood products. The Noble Tree would not suffer the same fate as its Centennial cousin, and the Giant Sequoia Tree would now be famous to the world.

foot Douglas fir log on a railroad car at Shelton, Puget Sound, Washington.

A. Plecker entitled "A Correct View of the Mammoth Tree Grove." Photo: Bancroft Library. Washington DC, where it stood on the Mall near the Agriculture Department building for three decades Big game of domination, an With no way out, as their support crumbled beneath them, the men jumped onto tall stump they had just created and fell down prostrate as the mighty goliath crashed to ground. the Redwood's Realm" in which 126 of the images were

missed teeth of saws by a few hundred feet."

Within a few decades Published to commemorate the nation's sesquicentennial in 1926, Industry," of the 15 volume series "The Pageant of America."

"Auger-Holes Through the Original Big Tree." being photographed upon the stump

Building" was published in the 1894 Final Report of the California World's Fair Commission (right). ", "The Mammoth Trees," Lithograph, 1854. Arcata, Humboldt County, California, c. 1890 - 1910. You will need to temporarily disable your Ad-blocker to view this page.

The Converse Basin Sequoia Grove sat on regular federal land and its timber rights had recently been leased to the Smith and Moore Co. Members of Tulares Board could pick any tree they wanted, so long as the lumber company was willing to part with it. being few surviving big trees in the county (right), Big tree trophy imagery was appropriated by the logging industry as it You can help our automatic cover photo selection by reporting an unsuitable photo. Big tree felled by 28 ft crosscut sawOld postcard, Man with axe on redwood stump.

. conceal its immoral deeds. Trees that know no equal other than their own coastal cousins. In 1967 the

Sequoia National Forest (left). Trees that, at the time, many refused to believe existed.

recognition of their true value vanished. The engraving represents the largest perfect standing tree, surrounded by a variety had been protected in 1890 by the creation of the four mile square General Grant National Park.

Some cross sections

The fact that the so called "champion trees" are recorded by including "Helios" (376.3 ft) and "Icarus" (371.2 ft) have recently been discovered in the park,

For $5000 (the equivalent of over $133,000 in 2018), Tulare County purchased from Smith and Moore the second largest tree in the Converse Basin.

Photo: Bancroft Library (I. W. Taber).

from Mammoth Forest. Some 40,000,000,000 cubic feet of American forests were being anually

Your input will affect cover photo selection, along with input from other users.

"prey" or victim is prominently displayed, be it a rifle, axe or cross saw. circum.

A variation on the trophy tree motif is the chopper's axe Conceived as a "cathedral of nature," the museum is emblematic of European

Noble is

Humboldt County, California and later settled in Arcata

Use tab to navigate through the menu items. A typical postcard from 1908 (above) features a ten industry also used giant stumps to promote their products.


. entire promotion was a failure.

Augustus William Ericson (1848 - 1927) was born in its Sierra hillside, what other great men and

In 2005 the photo was featured

of the North American West.

much of which had been clearcut logged prior to its founding in 1983. commodified remains of big trees, embodied national aspirations that were synonymous with But closer inspection reveals

used as a visual reference for the engraving (right). Lumber Company (right). Redneck jocks killing irreplaceable big trees in The felling of the Another famous Sequoia inhabitant of the Mammoth Tree Grove in Calaveras County was

"Felling Tree for Chicago World's Fair," 1893.

photographed above in 2007 is the subject of a stereoview c. 1870 (right).

where he established himself as a photographer.

and then to fall, after braving 'the battle and the breeze' of nearly three thousand winters.

It was a cruel twist of fate, then, that the Official History of the Chicago Worlds Fair would proclaim to the world that the Noble Tree hailed from the Mariposa Grove near Yosemite Valley.

"With these historic contrasts .

If you're using HTTPS Everywhere or you're unable to access any article on Wikiwand, please consider switching to HTTPS ( and documentation, they provide a revealing indictment popular usage during the Age of Empire (1875 - 1914), especially during the colonization distraction, for it is not the individual tree that matters as much as the habitat of the

huge size and weight of Mark Twain, his killing by company loggers took eight days.

In 1876, a man named Martin Vivian used a loophole in Californias state law to fell and attempt to display the massive trees trunk at Philadelphias Centennial Exposition, the first Worlds Fair in America.

Many commercial big tree trophy images were taken Mark Twain had the misfortune of growing in an area in the high Sierra Nevada

The she was chopped down in 1853. executed using the stereoviews as reference (right).

The men of Tulare County had picked their exhibit perfectly. Divided into 14 sections, the bark was reconstructed into a room over 70 park was finally expanded to include a second, more southern grove.

bestowed on him. the bark from the trunk of the 2,520 years old tree.

been a major tourist attraction ever since, the grove was not protected from logging The ancient tree relic is located Bullwinkle/Crannell, Humboldt County, c. 1900 - 1930.

The conquest of big trees by cutting them down is portrayed with the same An example is the image above, which was used as a promotional postcard, falsely advertising the Ericson photos of redwood logging scenes.

99 ft in circumference and 312 ft in height.

76 ft, over 306 ft high" (left).

The author reported that within the grove area there were 103 big trees,

Just like it had done for nearly 2000 years. large as the one shown in the engraving, but none so beautifully erect and symmetrical in every central hall (right).

The human General Noble served as the Secretary of the Interior between 1889 and 1893 and one wonders what his reaction was to the killing and display of the tree that bore his name.

George Koch on ascent of a 280 ft tree.

"Virgin Redwoods," Garfield, Humboldt County.

industry's commercial advertising.

Also in San Francisco a big tree display was undertaken, and (right).

Natural History Museum, London, "Chicago Stump," Sequoia National Forest, 2006.

A photo taken in 1860 was entitled "The Mother of the the Pageant was an unadulterated endorsement of resource exploitation and the only boldly out, a reproving, yet magnificent ruin. Hutchings also included in his book an caption states that it is the largest tree in Washington, with a circumference of 76 ft.

The same deeply scarred trunk section a similarly large redwood trophy was displayed at the Sonoma County Fair despite there

Humboldt County. the noble Mother of the Forest, dismantled of her once proud beauty, still stands a disbelieving public of the existence of such giant trees. The lumber industry's The destruction of the Mammoth Tree was not to Vance Lumber Company purchased the Humboldt Bay frontage from Samoa Land

exploitation of ancient forests.

Felling, A Tree's Life

1931. Its birth in 550 AD made Mark Twain a contemporary of Justinian, Emperor of the Roman Empire.

Cross section from Mark Twain Tree, 2007.

When it had decayed beyond safe daily use, grounds workers at the Department of Agriculture turned Noble into a storage shed.

expositions to promote the lumber industry and as roadside tourist curiosities such as

Eureka businessmen formed the Samoa Land and Improvement Trees that have the ability to astound and humble anyone who stand before them.

while hauling the World's Fair Big Tree centuries.

Trees that have outlasted all the empires of man since Ancient Rome. purchased the Humboldt Northern Railway in 1930 and merged with Hammond Lumber Company in Engravings were

Ericson was often commissioned by lumber companies Right: an early

"big timbers" of Oregon (left).

Eye witnesses to the preparation and

It shows the 120 ft high scaffold used in 1854 to strip General Noble's ignoble death was recorded in a series of photos by

"two breast like protuberances."

part of the Sierra Forest Reserve, the second national forest reserve designated in California. Named for the Civil War general John Willock Noble, the record Vivian decided to slice up the trunk as if he was serving pie and ship the massive conifer across the United States. Washington, they are no longer cut down for public display, but scaled by extreme tree The logging They would be competing with George Ferris Jr.s Wheel Ride, the halls of 47 different countries, full-sized reconstructions of the Nia, Pinta, and Santa Maria, and Buffalo Bill Cody. As it so happened, a Scottish immigrant was present the day Vivian killed the Centennial Tree. In the Spring of 1852, Augustus T. Dowd, while hunting, discovered a grove Tragically, this irony continues to decimate big trees today. at Mammoth Forest. Also her bark, on display for over a decade at the Crystal Palace in Sydenham, was destroyed Better known as the Chicago Stump, visitors to Kings Canyon National Park can follow a dirt road within the boundaries of Giant Sequoia National Monument and visit all that remains of the once majestic tree. commercial exploitation. Collection: Bancroft Library, The Mammoth Tree, known also as the Big Tree, was the namesake of the Mammoth Tree

California. The larger part split as it fell at the vase of the fifty foot stump, and lay like the hulk of a monster ship - the weight of that part being estimated at over 200 tons.

This time the workmanship was exemplary. Right: "Among the Redwoods" by A. E. Ericson. Converse Basin area of Tulare County. annihilation and conversion of General Noble and proved the Right: Engraving with

value given to the ancient big trees of the Northwest was as a lucrative natural asset

poses on top of a cut off giant (above), in the other the hunter poses next to a shot big game

two thousand years.

sorry remains of the venerable big tree, known the "Chicago Stump," can be seen in the On 14 February 1893, the same year that the General Noble tree

International Exposition.

on the cover of a European environmental history journal (left).

", "Auger holes through the Original Big Tree."

by Boston photographer John P. Soule, included a stereoview entitled "Mother of the Forest, looking up the Tree, of Their Iconography.". shameless assault (left) while the international wood products industry spews out greenwash to

today when modern technology has taken any courage or skill out of the killing and felling

California World's Fair Report, 1894, General Noble Tree, Washington DC, c. 1895.

Gallery of Big Tree Trophy Photos, c. 1900 - 1960, Falling a Big Douglas Fir, 1900 Vancouver, BC, Falling a Big Douglas Fir, c. 1910Weyerhaeuser Co., Washington, Falling a Big Cedar, c. 1920 Comox, Vancouver Island, Falling a Big Sitka Spruce, 1946

employee, 1930 (far left).

Erickson's photos were widely distributed with no regard for his copyright. By contrast to the Noble Tree,

What then happened to the remains of the once venerated big tree

the stem was fairly severed from the stump, the uprightness of the tree, and breadth of its

Two lumber jacks, called fellers, display their deadly weapon of assault while standing bravely in the undercut of an about to collapse redwood tree.

Some 135 redwood trees that reach higher than 350 ft Big Trees and the Yosemite, 1872, The Discovery Stump with sign, 2007 Photo: Humboldt State University.

Holberg, Vancouver Island, Falling a Big Douglas Fir, 1950

Following by a hunter, standing at its head with his rifle in hand. Niagara Falls Museum, NY, Redwood, Sonoma County Fair, 1959.

Tree - It bore the name Mark Twain. fire, with the celebrated Crystal Palace,

20 years after her bark removal.

being crated for transportation

of the prostrate giant Sequoia called "Big Tree" which had a circumference of 78 ft. Oddly enough, the Forest Services plaque at its base strikes an odd tone. conversion of their corpses to shingle boldts (below). hunters (left).

River Railroad was chartered in 1893 to connect the Samoa sawmill which was the largest

20 of which exceeded about 75 ft in circumference at the base. buffer continues to be relentlessly logged (in 2008 by Island Timberlands), leaving the tiny At their doorstep were the largest trees in the world.

96 ft, height 290 ft, 3000 years old.

The falling of General Noble was witnessed by over 100 men from

Whether it was shoddy workmanship, or the trees final resistance act of shattering as its towering body smashed to the ground, the public laughed at the displayed reconstruction.

converted into lumber at the turn of the century, supporting an powerful industry that symbolized Big Tree, boxed up, on the road from the section of her trunk (above) and her stump (below). colour chromolith postcard dated c. 1900. In the traditional masculine culture of big game hunting and trophy display big means best.


Bullwinkle/ Crannell in

To accomplish the feat of throwing it over, about two big tree.


The immense tree quivered like one in agony, and with a crushing, raging, deafening sound it fell, the extreme top, with its branches, falling upon an opposite hill and breaking into a million pieces.

In our estimation, it was a sacrilegious act.

held by the Humboldt State University Library lack dates

species. protected park vulnerable to wind damage, etc.

", "Workmen Felling the Mammoth Tree." An extension you use may be preventing Wikiwand articles from loading properly. Two loggers, their axes embedded in trunk, stand on springboards on either

undertaking of a "World's Fair" in San Francisco the following year, called the California Midwinter Such images, often enscribed with the board footage, were commissioned by the logging

Cowichan Lake, Vancouver Island, Falling a Big Sitka Spruce, 1964

Bancroft Library (Lawrence & Houseworth), "Mother of the Forest," c. 1870. MacMillan Bloedel, Haida Gwaii, "Falling Trees BC West Coast," BC big tree trophy, 2007. The stump and remaining log became a tourist attraction.

Left: Company bigshot dismemberment, the sooner to cover up the wrong." If you are using an Ad-Blocker, it might have mistakenly blocked our content.

of the lumber value of big timber.

From the 50 ft stump that remained after the fall of General Noble, of the American conquest of nature in the West but an unqualified endorsement One image, entitled "The Cross Cut in the Big Tree" is by Lawrence & Houseworth (left). The bed of branches Ironically, one of John Muirs big trees had saved the lives of the men who killed it. of truly immense trees, now known as the Calaveras North Grove. A painting done in 1854 by gold miner and amateur painter Isaac W. The stump continues to be an attraction to thousands of park visitors annually. largest piece of timber ever taken from

Pictures of gigantic logs destined for the mill was a common form of trophy

until 1931 when the Calaveras Big Trees State Park was founded. was cut down for a "tree room" display in Chicago, an unnamed giant redwood tree Engraving in "Western Wanderings" by John Boddam-Whetham, 1874. Hutchings where her measurements were give as "321 ft in height, 84 ft in circumference, without the bark." to the longevity of these redwood trees that the stump and log are still here after more than

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